Peace Monuments Related to Stars & the Heavens
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1683? - Terrestrial & Celestial Globes for Louis XIV, Paris (France). "Cardinal César d'Estrées, friend and adviser to Louis XIV and ambassador to Rome, saw the Duke of Parma’s globes and invited Vincenzo Coronelli [1650-1715] to Paris in 1681 to construct a pair of globes for the Most Christian King. Coronelli moved to the French capital in 1681, where he lived for two years. Each globe was composed of spindles of bent timber about ten feet long and four inches broad at the equator. This wood was then coated with a layer of plaster about an inch thick and covered in a layer of strong unfinished fabric. This was then wrapped in a quarter-inch layer of two very fine fabrics which provided backing for the painted information of the globes. These globes, measuring 384 cm in diameter and weighing approximately 2 tons, are displayed in the Bibliothèque nationale François Mitterrand in Paris. The globes depicted the latest information of French explorations in North America, particularly the expeditions of René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle." (Photo take in the Grand Palais Sept. 22, 2005.) "...actuellement exposés à la Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF), de grande dimension (387 cm de diamètre)... Le globe terrestre présente l'état des connaissances géographiques alors connues tandis que globe céleste figure l'état du ciel à la naissance de Louis XIV [1638-1715]. C'est tout simplement magnifique!"
September 30, 1935 - Boulder Dam, Colorado River, Arizona & Nevada (USA). Now Hoover Dam. "I live in Las Vegas and I am forced to visit the dam every time someone comes to visit me. The best evidence of the weirdness there is to the left of the guy by the garbage can. There is a plaque on the ground that has another map of stars, explaining & showing you what the sky looked like the night the dam was completed."
August 1939 - "Armillary Sphere," Ariana Park, Palais des Nations / Palace of Nations, Geneva (Switzerland). 410 cm in diameter. Weighs some 5,800 kg. Also called Celestial Sphere. By Paul Manship [1885-1966]. Presented by the Woodrow Wilson Foundation in memory of the founder of the League of Nations. S
June 1, 1950 - "Aero Memorial World War I 1917-18," Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA). By Paul Manship [1885-1966]. "Proposed during WW-I by the Aero Club of Pennsylvania. Commissioned by Fairmount Park Art Association."
1940 - Franklin Mountain Star, El Paso, Texas (USA). "The first star was built by El Paso Electric in 1940. It was only 50 feet wide and could barely be seen on the Carlsbad Highway. The star did not last long either. A storm blew out most of the bulbs on the first experimental star. Soon after that, a bigger and better star was built. This star was 403 feet long, 300 feet wide and used 300 lights. Improvements were made in 1946. The length was increased to 459 feet, the width reduced to 278 feet and 459 (150 W) lights were used. Today the star still has those same dimensions. The poles, which vary in height from 12 to 15 feet, start at the mountain top and run down to a point about 300 feet above Scenic Drive. The star sits at an angle of 30 degrees and appears to be "perfect" when viewed from the focal point at the intersection of Texas & Alameda Avenues."
1949 - Roanoke Star, Mill Mountain, Roanoke, Virginia (USA). "Also known as the Mill Mountain Star. The world's largest freestanding illuminated man-made star, constructed in 1949 at the top of Mill Mountain in Roanoke, Virginia. It was the largest star ever assembled until the El Paso Star was completed in El Paso, Texas. However, the Mill Mountain Star still holds the claim to world's largest illuminated man-made free-standing star, as the El Paso Star lies flat on the ground. After construction of the star, Roanoke was nicknamed "Star City of the South".
1963 - "Expanding Universe" Fountain, Foreign Service Court, Harry S. Truman Building, US Department of State, Washington, DC (USA). By Marshall M. Fredericks & commissioned for the US Government by the General Services Administration (GSA). According to Fredericks, the sculpture "represents this age of great interest, exploration and discovery in outer space...[and] the immensity, order & mystery of the universe." Marshall M. Fredericks [1908-1998] sculpted the "Spirit of Detroit," "Peace Arising from the Flames of War" in Cleveland & "Freedom of the Human Spirit" for the 1964 Worlds Fair in New York City & many other works. Saginaw Valley State University maintains the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum which includes the plaster model of "Expanding Universe."
1966 - Esperantomonumenten / Esperanto Monument, Brailledreef / Zamenhofdreef, Overvecht, Utrecht (Netherlands). Green star symbol of Esperanto with medalion depicting Ludwik Zamenhof [1859-1917], Polish inventor of the Esperanto language. "Frits Sieger en architect A. Salvatore." Chick here for Wikipedia article in Dutch which describes five other Esperanto monuments in the Netherlands. Click here for Zamenhof & Esperanto monuments worldwide.
July 20, 1969 - Apollo 11 plaque on the Moon. Text: "Here man from the planet Earth first set foot upon the Moon, July 1969, A.D. We came in peace for all mankind." Signed by three astronauts & President Richard Nixon. "Stainless steel commemorative plaques measuring 9 by 7 5/8 inches (22.9 by 19.4 cm) were attached to the ladders on the descent stages of the US Apollo Lunar Modules flown on lunar landing missions Apollo 11 through Apollo 17, to be left permanently on the lunar surface." /// They also left behind a memorial bag containing a gold replica of an olive branch as a traditional symbol of peace & a silicon message disk. The disk carries the goodwill statements by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson & Nixon & messages from leaders of 73 countries around the world."
August 1, 1971 - Fallen Astronaut, Hadley Rille (Moon). "An 8.5 cm (slightly over 3") aluminum sculpture of an astronaut in a spacesuit which commemorates astronauts who died in the advancement of space exploration. Placed on the Moon by the crew of Apollo 15."
1972 & 1973 - Pioneer Plaques (Outer Space). "A pair of gold-anodized aluminium plaques which were placed on board the 1972 Pioneer 10 and 1973 Pioneer 11 spacecraft, featuring a pictorial message, in case either Pioneer 10 or 11 are intercepted by extraterrestrial life. The plaques show the nude figures of a human male and female along with several symbols that are designed to provide information about the origin of the spacecraft. The Pioneer spacecraft were the first human-built objects to leave the solar system. The plaques were attached to the spacecraft's antenna support struts in a position that would shield them from erosion by stellar dust. The Voyager Golden Record, a much more complex and detailed message using (then) state-of-the-art media, was attached to the Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977."
Memorial Day 1976 - Whittier Peace Memorial, Civic Center, Whittier, California (USA). " Inscribed: "Dedicated to world peace in grateful memory of those who have given up their lives in the past wars in order that we may live in peace." /// "This wording is consistent with the philosophy of Whittier’s first settlers, the Quakers, who did not believe in memorializing war, but who gave honor to those who fought in defense of others."/// "The names of 157 men who were killed, & two missing in action in Vietnam, are listed on 3 bronze plaques. The 4th plaque contains the dedication & Whittier Bicentennial logo. The sundial represents the world as a hollow sphere with the equatorial band parallel to the equator. Parallel to the axis of the earth and pointing to the North Star is the arrow, or gnomon, it casts a shadow on the equatorial band indicating the time & was designed to fit local time changes. The memorial was designed by the architect William H. Harrison."" /// "Renovated in 2010 and re-dedicated on November 11, 2010 (lower image), "in honor of those already named on the monument [residents who died in four wars in the last century: World War I, World War II, Korea & Vietnam] as well as those who have died in recent military action... A curving white wall highlights the Memorial, which will also be surrounded by flags--the US Flag, flags of all the branches of the American military groups and the POW Flag."
April 22, 1979 - Albert Einstein Memorial at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), NAS Building, Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC (USA). Sculpted by Robert Berks and based on a bust he sculpted from life in 1953. Created for the 100th anniversary of the birth of Albert Einstein [1879-1955]. "The star map at the statue's base - a 28-foot field of emerald pearl granite from Larvik (Norway) is embedded with more than 2,700 metal studs representing the planets, sun, moon, stars & other celestial objects accurately positioned by astronomers from the US Naval Observatory as they were on the dedication date."
1997 - Peace Wall & Moon Gate, Lion & Lamb Peace Arts Center, Bluffton University, Riley Court (Lower Level), Spring Street, Bluffton, Ohio (USA). By Jon Barlow Hudson. "Replicates the Berlin Wall, a prison wall, a stockade wall & a memorial wall as an interactive art experience representing how we close people out, hold them in, or immortalize them with walls of various kinds." Names 68 peace activists. Entry #793 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).
1997 - Sagan Planet Walk, Ithaca, New York (USA). "Scale model of the solar system on a 5,000,000,000:1 scale... Carl Sagan [1934-19xx], of course, taught at Cornell (located in Ithaca) for many years, which is his connection to the town; hence the location for the memorial...But my favorite thing about the planet walk I don't have a photograph of. It isn't on the map; it isn't in Ithaca -- it doesn't even exist yet, and it probably never will. But there has been talk apparently about building a matching, to-scale monolith for Alpha Centauri, the nearest star to the Sun. It would be in Hawaii."
1998 - Bell of Peace ("Hirarillon"), Okahigashi Cho Park, Hirakata?, Osaka (Japan). Carillon (Western-style bells) and monument depicting the legend of separated lovers, the stars Vega and Altair (right image).
Date? - Paleaku Peace Gardens Sanctuary, Captain Cook, Kailua-Kona, Big Island, Hawaii (USA). "A seven acre botanical garden that facilitates educational, spiritual, and cultural programs. Our mission is to offer a sanctuary for the advancement of individuals toward peace and harmony." Image shows Galaxy Garden, "a meticulously planned garden spanning about 30 meters providing a relatively accurate map of our Milky Way Galaxy. Different plants depict stars, globular clusters, and even nebulas. Many bright stars visible in Earth's night sky are depicted on leaves surrounding the marked location of the Sun. Plant rows were placed to represent arms of our Galaxy, including the Sun's Orion Arm, the impressive Sagittarius Arm, and the little discussed Norma Arm. A small bar runs through our Galaxy's center, while a fountain has been built to represent the central black hole. What a stellar use of space! Credit & Copyright: Garden by Jon Lomberg; Kite Aerial Photography by Pierre and Heidy Lesage; NASA website."
After 1997 - Star Monument Temple, Radha Swami Satsang bhawan Complex, Dinod, about 10 km from Bhiwani, Haryana (India). "One of the most breathtaking buildings in India. Houses the holy Samadhi of Param Sant Tarachand ji Maharaj fondly called 'Bade Maharaj ji' by his followers... Its foundation was laid on October 1, 1997." Date? - "The Earth Moon & Sun," Al Falak Square, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).
After 1999 - Globe atop Breitling Orbiter Monument, Arleshiem, Canton of Basel (Switzerland). "Breitling Orbiter was the name of three different Rozière balloons made by Cameron Balloons to circumnavigate the globe. The first two balloons never made it, while the third was successful in 1999." The Orbiter is in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (USA). Date? - Star Sower Monument, Kaunas (Lithuania). "In the daytime this monument doesn’t make any sense, but when night comes down to the city..."
Date? - "Homage to Starry Night," Acalanes Open Space, Walnut Creek, California (USA). Painted by Jonathan Griffin. Similar to wall in Venice Beach.
September 6, 2001 - Ecliptic Park, Rosa Parks Circle, Grand Rapids, Michigan (USA). Designed by Maya Lin. Intended to depict water as solid, liquid & vapor. "The heart of [the park] is a skating rink that converts into an amphitheater in the warmer months & is lit by tiny fiber-optic lights, which are embedded in its surface & laid out in a pattern representing a constellation of stars as of January 1, 2000." "Lin's first project incorporating art & architecture in one site. The rings create an optical illusion in which their slight slope also makes the surface of the rink appear to tilt with the earth's curvature." The park also contains a steaming "Water Table Fountain" [lower image], two small service buildings in steel & concrete, a pair of fountains & short, wandering paths through landscaped mounds of grass that rise and fall in waves about three feet high. /// Grand Rapid's famous LibDub video was made in & around the park in May 2011.
April 29, 2004 - Wall of gold stars, National World War II Memorial, Washington, DC (USA). "Includes 4048 stars — each star representing about 100 Americans killed during World War II. The wall contains 16 rows of stars and 253 columns. The number, 4048, is somewhat arbitrarily chosen by the designers of the memorial who point out that a there is no precise number killed, as many were missing, unidentified, etc."